tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN July 20, 2011 3:00am-4:00am EDT
edition of 360. thanks for watching. piers morgan starts now. tonight, the world's biggest media mogul under attack, literally and figuratively, rupert murdoch in the hot seat. >> people i trusted let me down and i think they behaved disgracefully and betrayed me and the company and it's for them to pay. >> and the lie one member of brit tissue parliament told about me. >> if all you know about tom arnold is his marriage to roseanne barr, then you don't know the half of it. >> jenny craig offered me and my wife $20 million to lose 20 pounds. who could not do that? i can think of two people. >> he'll talk about his friendship with arnold schwarzenegger. that's tom arnold and this is "piers morgan tonight."
good evening. a dramatic day for rupert murdoch. hours of tough questioning coming to a sudden halt with this. murdoch slattered with a shaving cream pie, thrown by a man identified as johnny marbles. murdoch's wife, wendi deng, leaping to his defense. more questions to rupert and his son james. louise mensch accused me not one but twice of boasting in a book that i had gotten scoops when i worked for the daily mirror. >> piers morgan side open until his book, clearly published
before this whole controversy broke, that he had hacked phones, he said that he won scoop of the year for a story, and he actually gave a tutorial on how one accesses voice mail by punching in a set default code, and clearly from the account that he gives, he did it routinely as editor of "the daily mirror." >> absolutely wrong, mrs. mensch. i never hack aid phone, never told anyone else to hack a phone. here is what i actually said in the book "the insider." apparently if you don't change the standard security code that every phone comes with, then anyone can call your number and if you don't answer, tap in the standard four-digit code to hear all your messages. i'll change mine just in case. but it makes me wonder how many public figures and celebrities are aware of this little trick." she was confronted directly are what kind of evidence do you have to make that acquisition
against piers morgan. >> i said what i said in the committee room, but i'm afraid right now i'm going to say that i can't comment about it outside of the committee room. inside parliament, when i speak in a select committee of parliament, i am protected by parliamentary privilege to repeat something outside of parliament doesn't give me cloak of privilege. >> piers morgan is joining us on the phone right now. i want to give him a chance to respond to that very direct allegation you made against him and his reputation.
piers, go ahead and respond and tell mrs. mensch what you think. >> i'm amused by her cowardice in refusing to repeat that. what she did is a deliberate and outrageous attempt to smear my name, cnn's name, and the daily mirror's name. and to have the breath taking gal to sit here and calmly say i can't repeat that because i haven't got privilege is an outrage. and i call on you now, ms. mensch, to show some balls, repeat what you said about me and go buy a copy of my book "the insider" and see where in that book these claims that you made today in a televised committee, watched all over the world, where that claim is in that book? because it isn't there. >> all right, mrs. mensch, do you want to respond to that? >> as i've just said, i made the claims in the select committee. and people will look at them. >> it's not in the book, though, mrs. mensch, is it? let's figure on exactly what you said. for more, i want to bring in cnn producer jonathan ward. he was not only in the room, but seated right behind rupert murdoch. you are not a cnn producer. very confusing for the pair of you. you had an amazing ringside seat to this. quite extraordinary scenes when the protester attacked rupert murdoch. what was it like for you being
so close to that? >> well, it was -- it was very dramatic. at first i wasn't sure what he was doing this gentleman appeared from the back of the room. he didn't seem threatening. i thought perhaps he was trying to make his way to the other side of the room. next thing i know, he was speaking to rupert murdoch with the in to nation of someone scolding a naughty child, and he said you're a greedy billionaire, and then he took out of a plastic bag that he was holding by his side, this polystyrene plate filled with what i found out later was shaving foam. i found out because it went everywhere, including me, it was shaving foam, and plunged it in his face, prompting an almighty reaction, particularly from rupert murdoch's wife, wendi deng. >> she moved faster than a navy s.e.a.l. and took out this guy, pretty impressive. >> she was closest, but nonetheless, she struck him with
a right hand, and then she took the plate, which the attacker used to strike rupert murdoch and hit him back with it, give him a taste of his own medicine, and as we left the room, we were all asked to leave, that is the members of the press and members of the public. so that the session could be suspended. she was sitting next to rupert murdoch, and she has had recognized that no real damage had been done. it was shocking, but no real injury, and she was sitting next to him smiling and pleased with the speed and the effectiveness of her reaction. >> jonathan, what do we know about the attacker? >> well, right after the attack took place, i started speaking to the police who were running around. all they were telling me, this was a live incident and looking into it urgently. they have since said it was a 26 year old who they arrested on suspicion of assault, but he has
tweeted, in fact, he tweeted just before the incident, under the name of johnny marbles. he's listed as an activist and comedian. and he tweeted, it's a far better thing that i do now than i have ever done before, splat. and that was moments before he threw the shaving foam pie into rupert murdoch's face. and i've seen some of his youtube clips and it -- it certainly looks exactly like the individual i saw carry out this attack earlier today. >> well, mr. marbles may have had his day, but, of course, he probably ensures all of the headlines tomorrow will be about wendi deng's right hook and less about the murdochs getting grilled, which may not have been what his objective was. i want to speak with becky ward who has worked with several murdoch papers. james fallows for the national correspond respondent and richard quest back in london. let's me start with you, james fallows. a massive day for the murdoch family and news corporation. what is your overview? how did they do? >> miraculously, the pie may have saved the whole day for the murdoch family. of course, as you pointed out it will dominate the headlines. the spectacle of wendi, trying to step in and protect her husband, and rupert murdoch being wronged. that changed a very difficult beginning for both murdochs in the first hour of the hearing. when rupert murdoch seemed sometimes confused, slow, and often in an almost touching way, james murdoch would try to intervene and supply information that his father didn't have. and the mps would say, no, we'd
like to hear from rupert murdoch. the pie changed the whole dynamic of the day. >> very dramatic scenes. would you agree it was the pie that won it? >> no, i actually don't think i would agree. i think the pie incident will be seen for what it is, which was a disgraceful, appalling breach of parliamentary regulations and will be dealt with as such. and that fundamentally, people will turn back. the pie will be a side bar, and it may have made the headlines tomorrow, but the answers that were given by the murdochs in the hearings, will be what people will focus on in the longer term and don't forget one other crucial point. there are the police inquiries, the independent police commission, where you have this massive judicial inquiry that still has to get under way, along with further inquiries that will come from this committee. long and short, the pie might be the froth, if you like, but i think that people will concentrate on what was said. >> from what you saw, richard, where were the murdochs weakest today? intervene and supply information that his father didn't have. and the mps would say, no, we'd like to hear from rupert murdoch. the pie changed the whole dynamic of the day. >> very dramatic scenes. would you agree it was the pie that won it? >> no, i actually don't think i would agree.
i think the pie incident will be seen for what it is, which was a disgraceful, appalling breach of parliamentary regulations and will be dealt with as such. and that fundamentally, people will turn back. the pie will be a side bar, and it may have made the headlines tomorrow, but the answers that were given by the murdochs in the hearings, will be what people will focus on in the longer term and don't forget one other crucial point. there are the police inquiries, the independent police commission, where you have this massive judicial inquiry that still has to get under way, along with further inquiries that will come from this committee. long and short, the pie might be the froth, if you like, but i think that people will concentrate on what was said. >> from what you saw, richard, where were the murdochs weakest today? >> clearly on the fundamental question, which never got
answered. why did you not know? i mean, they danced around it. got into some incredible detail about payments to "x," payments to "y." what did you know, who signed this contract? it was very detailed. parliamentary process at its best and worst. but we never got to the answer, why didn't you know? and particularly with mrs. brooks, again and again, it was brought to her, but we never really fundamentally understood how did these people who should have or perhaps might have known failed to know? and i think that is still very much a question to be answered, probably by the judicial inquiry. >> let me turn to you, vicky ward, a personal friend of the murdochs. we spoke to you yesterday. you movingly spoke about rupert murdoch. it's a difficult day. he started off saying it's a the most humble day of his life. >> and there was an e-mail from
wendi, that she had slapped him. and i e-mailed back, go, girl, or go, wendi. he was very fragile, contrite at the beginning and started to get more resilient, more rambunctious toward the end. he came out strong about the telegraph. an important point here. two years ago, the british public seemed quite content to -- when the "daily telegraph" broke a very big story about the abuses on mps' expenses and obtained this information by paying for it, paying for stolen documents, what he was trying to point out, he created a culture there to expose the establishment. and clearly what we saw today was the beginning of a process which needs to draw a line between exposing and making a democracy transparent which is good, and tampering with the law and doing illegal things and describing police, which is
clearly very, very bad. but it was apparent that he wasn't -- >> let me bring in james fallows on that point. what was interesting watching it, i saw people observing the murdochs seemed to be a bit mumbling. this reminded me of the meetings i had with him 16 years ago. when he warmed up, he was the murdoch of old. i expect when he started, he was very conscious of not saying the wrong thing and that is why he was taking time to answer. what's interesting to me, he made it clear he didn't feel the buck stopped with him is that a position that's acceptable for a guy who is chairman and ceo of a news corporation? >> it's quite a surprising position, and there is a different of your reaction to this and most of the public. most of us have never done business with rupert murdoch and know what he is like inside. the first impression of him being very cautious and sometimes worse than cautious, unsure of what he is saying.
that is a surprise giving the view of murdoch of this controlling figure. probably the most influential media figure in the world and finally his saying he wasn't accepting responsibility. i think especially to an american audience, that would be a jarring thing to hear, because the normal way to deal with these things to say that finally as the captain of the ship. head 6 the enterprise, commander of the unit, one does take responsibility. that was a jarring note, at least to an american public. >> i found it quite amusing. people talking about the repeated banging of the first. he has done that all his life. it can convey both pleasure and displeasure. i wouldn't read too much into that. the stock price of news corp. rose by 6% today.
huge amount of money has come back into the company as a result of these hearings. clearly the markets didn't feel there was any more damage today, if anything, a bit of a stabilizing of the ship. do you see it that way? >> i certainly would. initially when we went into the day, there was the prospect of this rumor, of a board meeting and perhaps murdoch would retire or resign, and the stock price rose, and we all interpreted this stock price as being murdoch's out, new man in, investors love it. by the end of the day, they got a flash that news corp. is by no means over, and anybody who had written it off, had better certainly watch out for their own back. >> finally, richard, greatest scandal in british history from your experience? >> oh, no, no, no, no. no. a good scandal. a grade "a" scandal, but it doesn't come -- in my humble opinion, it doesn't come close to the electorate, the mps' expenses scandal. this was elected politicians basically robbing the public.
discover customersl are getting five percent cashback bonus at the pump... and at many of the places their summer plans take them. it pays to switch, it pays to discover. who need imagine... one scooter or power chair that could improve your mobility and your life. one medicare benefit that, with private insurance, may entitle you to pay little to nothing to own it. one company that can make it all happen ... your power chair will be paid in full. the scooter store. hi i'm doug harrison. we're experts at getting you the power chair or scooter you need. i didn't pay a penny out of pocket for my power chair. with help from the scooter store, medicare and my insurance covered it all.
my special guest, tom arnold. have you a new dvd out. that's my story and i'm sticking to it. what does that mean? >> i tell a lot of stories in my standup act, my point of view on different things. it's a play on that. i talk about, i have a certain amount -- something about relationships, hollywood stories, people that you know, friends of mine, most of them, and i think that's what it is. >> a remarkably candid thing to watch. i mean, you have had quite a life. to put it mildly, haven't you? >> i think if you do standup, the kind of standup i like, you have to tell the truth and hopefully you've had some interesting thing. the saddest things, most painful things, are oftentimes the funniest.
so before i did the special, i did some specials in '91, '92, '93, with judd apatow. i did some studies on audiences and i hoped they didn't know everything, but they do. even young people. >> it's interesting, the saddest stuff is often most comic. is there anything about your life that you can't joke about? >> well, i can't think of anything. there are things that are better than others. you know, i think if -- it's hard to find a way to make child abuse funny. you know, sexual abuse. you know, but i think there's probably a way. i think someone could do it. since it happened to me, i own it a little bit. i can -- i can direct people where i want, and, you know, nothing is off-limits. >> let's play a little clip from the dvd.
>> america has got the fattest poor people on the planet. i tell you, our poor people weigh 400 pounds, smoke 4 packs of cigarettes a day. i'm not too worried. you go to africa, their poor people look hungry. but we're americans, damnit. >> i'm from iowa. >> but are you considerably smaller than i thought you might be. >> i'm working on it people think i'm shorter and fatter. i'm 6'2", 240. they think i'm 300 pounds, 5'6". >> have you had sort of an ongoing battle? >> my battle with food and my weight is the core of my alcoholism, of everything. my self-esteem is tied to that. and so it's been a battle since i was a kid. >> and how are you feeling these days about the way you look? >> i need to lose some weight.
i have lost some weight, but i would like to lose more. i've never been happy. i thought i was fat when i was thin. when i was a kid, afraid to take my shirt off in front of other kids. when you come from a farming area, that's hard. you get a farmer tan. but i think i'm still -- my self-esteem is caught up in it. >> you worked as a young guy in a meatpacking plant in iowa. >> um-hum. >> do you remember that experience well? >> i remember working at hormel very well. the good things, i had a lot of friends there. they still work there. it was hard work. it was a good job. i had insurance. and i really -- you know, best job in ottumwa, iowa, to get at that time. it also was a place without windows. there is a lot of death. we killed 5,000 hogs a day. that can get -- get on your nerves a little bit. >> were you a good hog slayer? >> i was. my nickname was gunner. we try to do it in a humane way, but it's tough. it's a rough business. >> if your life hadn't taken
your deviation to standup, do you ever wonder you would still be there now? >> you know, when i don't feel -- i got fired from hormel. arrested for public nudity in an old folks home. >> what? >> me, mike, and mo, nothing to do in ottumwa, iowa, after 10:00. i called in sick to work. they had a strike system. three strikes and you are out. the party ended at 10:00, and on the way back, i was staying at indian hills community college. on the way back, let's streak. the only thing open were the diner and jefferson square manor. the diner, no one was there. we knew the nurses at jefferson square mondayor it wasn't for the people. the nurses called the police, and i got arrested. hands cuffed behind my back. in the middle of main street on a cold december day. >> what was that moment like?
>> terrifying. i hope this is funny one day. powerless, you're handcuffed. people driving by, people i've known my whole life. and i pray this is funny one day, and here it's sort of funny. my dad had to come bail me out of jail, naked. >> hard to explain to your father. >> especially my father, jack. very upright citizen, people love him. his oldest son was crazy. >> the naked hog splayer. >> exactly. >> standup saved you from all of this. when did you realize this could be a career and not just a bit of fun? >> the first time i got offered a paying job, $15, university of iowa they had an open mike night. you could come and tell jokes, read a poem. whatever, i signed up for it. and i loved the response.
i live in minneapolis, come up there and i'll give you a job. i packed my stuff in a trash bag, got on a bus. had 100 bucks, showed up at the club, i have a full-time job, and they said, no, no, no. one night for $15. i got scared, and i was a bartender down the street. did i whatever i could to support it, but getting that $15 changed my life. >> you are obviously inexorablely linked to roseanne barr. >> yeah, how is that? >> is that a good thing or not a good thing? >> i haven't talked to her face to face in almost 18 years. i'm very happy for her, happy she has a new show. i hope people watch it. i want her to succeed. i'm grateful to her, i talk about it in my standup. so long ago, it seems odd. she did e-mail me in december, started e-mailing me, random, out of the blue. i hadn't heard from her. and i showed ashley, my wife. and every other e-mail was really mean. it reminded me, she can't help it.
she can't help it. and my thing is, i got to be a stepfather for five years because of her. that is the best thing that's ever happened to me, until now. ashley and i are planning our family, and that taught me a lot. it got me sober and this is all under her watch. if i hadn't had somebody in my corner like her, i would be dead. >> i know she watches the show a lot. because she tweets it a lot. >> she'll be watching today. >> what would you say to her if she's watching. >> i would say good luck with your show. you know, i've said thank you to her many times. and i just hope she's -- it seems like her life is altogether now, i'm very happy, if you care. and i'm glad things worked out the way they did. >> do you think she'll be please thad you're happy? >> part of her, no. but i think that deep down i'm sure.
[ male announcer ] things seem better with travelocity's best price guarantee. our girl's an architect. our boy's a genius. we are awesome parents! biddly-boop. [ male announcer ] if you find a lower rate on a room you've booked, we won't just match it. we'll give you $50 towards your next trip. [ gnome ] it's go time.
biggest roles in the blockbuster "true lies." prophetic words for your friend, arnold schwarzenegger. >> a good man. >> and "true lies, " a huge hit. arnold has been through a pretty shattering few months. i've known him, not as well as you certainly, i've always liked him very much what do you make of what is going on? >> you have to understand, he grew up much like me in a small town in austria in his case. that's what we bond on. he respects that, coming from somewhere and doing something. you know, he's very charitable. he is a -- this has been tough, because our relationship is based on a lot of humor, and, you know, to find humor in all of this is hard. i'm just his friend, unconditionally, just like he's
been for me. the worst times of my life. anything i can do for him, and i love maria and the kids obviously. hopefully this thing gets better for him. >> were you as shocked as everybody else? >> yeah, yeah. i mean, obviously people don't share. people don't share a lot of things with me. if they are using drugs or getting wasted or that, they don't necessarily share it with me. and i kind of appreciate that. if he had told me, you know, i'd been there for him. we have an unconditional friendship. >> do you speak to him a lot about this? >> about what? >> about what is going on. >> we see each other. you say how are you. >> you said yourself, i mean, in your own life, the saddest stuff often makes the most comic material. at what point can you crack a joke about this?
>> the only joke i can crack, he can no longer make fun of the women i've been with. but he knows, you have to make a joke one day. and this happened, and people are close to him, like jim cameron, what do we say? and he's got a pretty thick skin. >> there is the talk of a remake of "true lies." is it a go? might it happen? >> i think it's a go. may not be the next movie he does, but we'll eventually we'll do it. >> you talk about it? >> absolutely we talk about it. it's great fun. are you still talking about it it's been 17 years, and i've not given up on it, and i love -- if you work with people that you love, like him, jamie lee curtis, jim cameron, obviously, you want to do that again and again and again. and for 17 years i've been talking about, still talking about it, and it's good enough for me now. >> people get very judgmental when these scandals break. most don't know the person concerned. what kind of man is arnold schwarzenegger? >> i think arnold is a great man. i think everybody makes mistakes.
we're human beings. i'm not saying that anything he did is a mistake, but he's a great man. very -- i learned a lot about myself, being of service to other people, you know, with the inner city games he started. he said my movie work is equally important with my service work. you know, my charity work. and if people don't realize that, they can't be part of me. he's going around and he's working on the environment with jim cameron and doing things that are a little bit bigger outside of the movie business. the movie business is his job, and he does enjoy the hell out of it. but there are other things that he cares about, and he's done an amazing job. >> as a standup comedian, do you like making movies, because on a stage you walk out, you get instant reaction from people, and you walk off with a big
check in your pocket. movies, three months filming, six months editing, promotion and the rest of it. and it might just bomb overnight. it's a torturous process. >> for tour torturous and monday on the onus. some directors want you to do things 20, 30 times. but in the end, if you are working with great people. i just did a movie with brad cooper and kristen bell. every day was something different, and i see the joy that bradley cooper has to be there and i'm thinking he can do whatever he wants right now. he's just so happy to be there, be in the moment, and i want to get some of that. because i've done about 100 movies and i want it to still be fun for me. >> you've made 100 movies? >> yeah. >> what's your favorite? >> i loved "true lies." and a movie called "happy endings" a smaller movie. >> and the biggest turkey? the one you don't want to talk about in civilized company? >> the one, the financier's girlfriend played the lead. i don't turn down much obviously. it was a job, and it was rough. it was rough to her to put her in that position. and i can relate to that. >> we'll take a little break. when we come back, i want to talk to you about alcohol, cocaine abuse. it will be a cheery segment. >> let's party. >> yeah. trying to remember if i had met you. >> now my special guest, tom arnold. tom, you have been there, you've done it, you've sniffed it, you've drunk it you've led the party life. >> sniffed it. drug addicts never sniff drug addicts never sniff anythin. he holes up in his cave. that's the impression i get. i can't imagine anybody doing more drugs than i did and living, and you know, especially with cocaine. and your resistance to these drugs. >> recreational drug taking and addiction. at your worst, what are we talking in terms of consumption? >> of about a half ounce a day of cocaine. >> really? >> it's crazy. and i'm so grateful to be alive. and i don't know why i am. >> did you remember how that made you feel? >> i will tell you this. the first time i tried cocaine, it made me feel great. it was in probably 1984. and then every time after that i tried to get that feeling of the first time, and i was chasing it, and at the end, in 1989, every time i did cocaine, i felt paranoid, depressed, and i -- i lied to myself and said i'll get back to that place you were a few years ago, but it doesn't happen. your brain chemistry changes, cocaine, alcohol, and it doesn't
give you the same feeling. >> do you drink? >> i haven't had a drink since 1988. >> do you ever get tempted? >> i watch normal people having a couple of drinks. my wife and her friends, and i wonder what that's like. i know what that's like. i have 100 drinks. literally 20 drinks, get wasted, blackout, get in a fight. do all that stuff. i know where that goes. i remember. it's fresh, it's horrible. and i remember waking up the next day, the shame and the guilt. that's exactly what happened. tmyir 1st mti i t be qe b oun ad, lt adstoak3 dc iohe.isome very3 ptchom a ty scoiosl y k, hirelationswiyo yrsgondloathim. they don't quit. neho.e way, if they do one, thy
>> sniffed it. drug addicts never sniff anything. no, i have a lot of war stories, i have done -- i took everything, alcohol, drugs, street drugs, you know, to the -- to the max. i mean, there is nothing that i'm not addicted to. whether it be work or -- you know, food is a big issue all the time. >> you and charlie sheen go back a long way. when you were at your peek, the pair of you, who could outparty the other? >> charlie is a private partyier. at least from what i can tell, he holes up in his cave. that's the impression i get. i can't imagine anybody doing more drugs than i did and living, and you know, especially with cocaine. and your resistance to these drugs. >> recreational drug taking and addiction. at your worst, what are we talking in terms of consumption? >> of about a half ounce a day of cocaine. >> really? >> it's crazy. and i'm so grateful to be alive. and i don't know why i am.
>> did you remember how that made you feel? >> i will tell you this. the first time i tried cocaine, it made me feel great. it was in probably 1984. and then every time after that i tried to get that feeling of the first time, and i was chasing it, and at the end, in 1989, every time i did cocaine, i felt paranoid, depressed, and i -- i lied to myself and said i'll get back to that place you were a few years ago, but it doesn't happen. your brain chemistry changes, cocaine, alcohol, and it doesn't give you the same feeling. >> do you drink? >> i haven't had a drink since 1988. >> do you ever get tempted? >> i watch normal people having a couple of drinks. my wife and her friends, and i wonder what that's like. i know what that's like. i have 100 drinks. literally 20 drinks, get wasted, blackout, get in a fight.
do all that stuff. i know where that goes. i remember. it's fresh, it's horrible. and i remember waking up the next day, the shame and the guilt. that's exactly what happened. i know -- i tried to -- i went to my first 12-step meeting in 1986 and took until 1 9 1989 to get sober. i've tried every way, just beer, wine, everything to get sober. >> for a long time, was it hard to give up things that were quite a bit of fun? >> i have regrets of how i acted, a lot of amends to make to people. people i had relationships with in iowa, in the midwest. and i was -- i did some very top-notch women and they helped me a lot, and i wasn't a good boyfriend. >> you had a very tough upbringing, and you suffered this child abuse from a male babysitter. your mother was married seven
times. clearly a pretty chaotic domestic scenario there. how much of what went on there determined how you became early on in your adulthood. >> relationshipwise if your mom leaves when you are four, anything is possible. subconsciously, you know, things start going bad in a relationship, she's leaving. if my mom left, anybody could leave. so my first three marriages lasted four years, my mom left when i was four. i mean, something i've really looked at and worked on with ashley. i don't want to -- all my chips are on the table this time. i think i always held a little something back and that was a detriment to those relationships and the women i was with. so i'm not doing that with ashley now, and hopefully for the best. >> what happened to the abuser? >> well, after i got sober -- you spin through things and you work on things, and i started really dealing with it 20, 21 years ago and i located him.
he had moved from ottumwa to des moines. i found out where he worked. he ran a business, big church leader. they don't quit. by the way, if they do one, they do 250 kids. i went back to my old neighborhood. he done it to his own brothers, a lot of kids. a lot of people don't like to talk about it, they mistakenly think it's a homosexual thing. it's obviously not you're a victim of this man. i wanted to confront him, i didn't want to kill him or get arrested again. the guy hurt me enough, right? i found him, showed up where he worked. he's like oh, my gosh. and right in front of everybody, and i gave him back the pain and shame he caused me as a kid. >> what did you do? >> i just said what i had to say. he came towards me and put his finger in my chest, your memories are wrong, which tells me he has been confronted before. at first i was scared, i will tell you that. i felt like the 4-year-old. i remember, oh, my god, he was more violent than i thought. he would take me in his back room to play the game.
the reason i didn't tell my father is because he gave me a candy bar at the end. like a big candy bar and my dad didn't want me eating sugar because of my -- look at me. and so -- plus, i didn't know what it was. you don't know what sex is if you're a kid. so i confronted him, and then, you know, as he came towards me, i realized, wait, i'm a grown man, i'm not that kid, and i grabbed his arm and i went back home. >> did you hit him? >> no, i didn't hit him. but i -- i went -- immediately to the governor of iowa's office, it's down the road, and i said you got to do something about this guy. he's about to adopt another boy. he said, tom, you're not here. you can't tell me. that's a federal offense you're asking me to do. get out of here, go back to california. i'm worried about this kid. he's growing his own victims. i got a call from my brother. the adoption had fallen through, some kind of paperwork thing.
i don't know what the governor did, but i appreciate it. and i said what about the kids in his neighborhood now? i had my farm hands, six blocks around the house, put up posters around the guy, his name, face, crimes. a kid high on every, you know, pole. >> did he bring you any kind of closure? >> absolutely. because up until then, and i didn't want to admit it every time i went back to ottumwa and was at mall or something, i am going to see this guy, and he has a secret over me, some kind of weird power over me. i didn't want it to happen in front of people and didn't want to be beholden to him, because he raped me when i was a kid. he had already done, so by confronting him, exposing him. i went on oprah, and i said don't say the name. okay. but let's call him blank and i said the name right in the camera. because i wanted everybody to know. and i think i did -- i did the best i could do. i'm not ashamed. how could i be?
i know pleasing fans is a top priority, 'cause without the fans, there'd be no nascar. just like if it weren't for customers, there'd be no nationwide. that's why they serve their customers' needs, not shareholder profits. because as a mutual, nationwide doesn't report to wall street, they report to their customers. and that's just one more reason why the earnhardt family has trusted nationwide for more than 30 years. nationwide is on your side.
reaches out and does service work. or someone's in trouble. it just so happens that i work in hollywood so a lot of that is with my friends. people have reached out to me. obviously i wouldn't be sober if it wasn't for the friends i have. in the beginning and even now. i think that people talk about hollywood being a bad place for drugs and alcohol, it's a great place for recovery. there's a lot of recovery here and a lot of meetings and a lot of help. and it feels good to help people. obviously it's a selfish thing. i help them, i feel good about myself. that's a good thing. and it always comes back when you need it the most. when you're down on yourself and you say, wait a minute, but i actually did some nice things. okay. i might be okay. >> when you see someone like charlie going through what he's been through the last few months, what's been your view watching from afar? >> well, you know, i love charlie. he's a really, as you know, i
saw you interview him. very sweet guy. i reached out to help him because at the time he said, no one's calling. whatever. and i thought he might be in that scary place where you feel abandoned by the world. so i called because i wanted him not to be able to say that. plus if you know charlie, he reached out to a lot of other people when he was rolling in sobrietity and helped other people including people he worked with on the show. so i said, well, if he's the kind of guy that always helps people, maybe i'll let him know i'm here. he knows where i am. >> i was told that you got a reaction from someone close to charlie. >> i tried to do it way back in '88 or so, '89. i said -- i had just gotten out of rehab in 1990. i wanted everybody to be sober. you come out there fired up. 30 days of sobriety and i knew everything. i knew charlie was struggling with stuff, had heard some stories and seen him.
i called his agent and said i need your help. we'll do an intervention. >> he says whoa i could lose money. we make way too much from him. so nobody would help me on it. >> there it is in a nutshell is the immorality hollywood, isn't tis? >> particularly hollywood because there are so many people whose own lives and careers and incomes depend on the celebrity. >> well, maybe so. but if i called -- i know 20 guys that if i called and said we're going to intervene on some kid in the middle of the inner city they'd drop everything right now. no questions asked. and obviously if it was charlie it would be even easier to get people to help. like i say, they don't always go well. sometimes people hate me. i've done interventions on people that just hate me for five years. and then maybe get it down the line. and so it's a risk. if i do an intervention on a director and it goes bad he's never going to hire me. he doesn't want to think i'm going to spy on him or tell he's using or what are. i would never do. i want them to know there's an option out there and people care about them. >> you're you were partying just
as hard as charlie, what was the catalyst to stop for you? what in the end made you stop? >> there was a night -- i lived in benita canyon where i live now. i was trying to get in the gate. i was so messed up and couldn't remember the code. turned out it was my birth date. but i was driving up and down the canyons. finally i see my ex-wife come down the driveway, get out of the car to let me. in i think she's going to hit me. i deserve it. i'm a scum bag. and she came up and she gave me a hug and said "i just want you to come home". and that broke through all of my craziness and all the disease. and i was suddenly very -- felt very sober. a moment of clarity. and i said, okay. i got to tell you a story. and i lied the whole time. i'd been using drugs. i can't stop. we were about to get married. i can't stop. i thought i could stop at the bachelor party. i'll be using at the wedding. i'll be using forever. i cannot stop. so i surrendered that and it felt good. then she was like, well, you can't live here. so i got in the cab and checked myself in. >> going to take a break.
>> every time there's a celebrity divorce they always have this list. mel gibson's wife got $65 million. tiger woods' wife whatever. at the end of that list it says tom arnold got $50 million from rose ann barr. [ cheers and applause ] >> i think you guys are witness to the fact i didn't take dime from that woman. listen. i'm in san bernardino staying at the hilton this weekend. >> but that is true. you didn't take any money. >> no. >> did it annoy you there was this perception? >> it still does, you know? and people, they write it as if it were a fact.
all they got to do it look it up. it's public record. but it's funny. and i think she likes to talk about it. and whatever. what i took from that marriage, a lot of things better than money. so i'm grateful. >> you obviously made a lot of money over the years. have you managed to despite all the partying and the extravagances have you retained enough to be pretty comfortable for the rest of your life? >> if i'd have continued partying obviously i wouldn't have anything. so i have to work. no. i absolutely have to work. and maybe that's the best thing for me, you know? i don't have that f you money that people talk about. >> a very impressive watch. >> they gave that to me. very nice. very nice. so i appreciate that. one of the perks of the job. >> there are a lot of great perks like that. >> you've got a successful marriage now, one that's working and making you happy. >> mm-hmm. >> what did you learn about marriage and how to make it work? >> for me? i didn't have a template. because my parents were not married.
very long. >> that was probably the last thing you'd ever want, someone who got married seven times. >> i didn't want to be an alcoholic or get married a bunch. i wanted to be like my dad. solid citizen. been married second marriage 40 some years. but i was on the path of being my mother, obviously. i am an alcoholic and i was getting married a bunch. what i've learned is, ashley, she likes me. she likes me a lot. we have a great time. >> that's a good start, i think. >> that is a good start. but it wasn't always there with me. i felt like they would like me if i could show off and then i didn't have to work on the relationship. i'll go, make movies in canada for a year and then show up. things go very bad when you do that. and i have to work on my marriage. it's right after my sobriety every day. >> great to meet you. >> thank you, buddy. >> been a real pleasure.